Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts

WHAT do the next few months hold for your finances?

SEAN LOVETT, an expert on financial astrology, spoke to PATTY GREENALL…

PG: Are our financial lives going to carry on as normal – and will there be a recession?
SL: The Saturn-Pluto opposition, which started on August 5, is still taking place. It has to do with debt and coming to terms with debt. For individuals, I expect much less spending on consumer products, less use of credit cards and hire-purchase. This opposition is taking place in Gemini and Sagittarius, a combination which rules transport. In big business, I expect the car industry to be hit particularly badly hit.

PG: What about overseas holidays?
SL: The whole travel and tourism sector will suffer. We've already seen the impact of the terrorist attacks on airlines.
PG: Is that because airlines are governed by Sagittarius?
SL: Yes. It had been forecast, but nobody foresaw the mechanism by which it would happen, in other words, the terrorist attack.

PG: Will things pick up after May 2002 when the last stage of opposition is over?
SL: Broadly speaking, yes. Saturn-Pluto cycles restrict availability of capital. They often affect banking and insurance businesses. In this first phase, we can also expect a lot of big-name mergers or openly hostile takeovers, especially in the communications industry.

PG: Can you give an example?
SL: All world trade will slow down, especially trade that is superfluous to people’s immediate needs. At a basic level, you might find that your company will not be sending you to Paris for that training weekend. Lots of service industries will be caught up by the influence of this opposition. The second phase of opposition is ‘retrograde’ where the planets appear to move backwards. The effect will be that much of the financial activity will be hidden from public view. It will be a time of surprise announcements of mergers and takeovers between major communications companies. In the final phase of opposition [up to May 2002], those technology and communication companies which remain will be good targets for investors looking to buy shares.

We're not at the bottom of the cycle yet. There's quite a lot of shaking up to come. But by June, things will pick up nicely. The fall in stock prices is not a very bad thing, just part of the natural Saturn-Pluto rhythm. I don't think we will see a depression with negative economic growth. We are already in recession because we have slow economic growth. But it hasn’t slowed very much and I don't expect it to slow much more.

PG: What about the outlook for wages?
SL: Definitely no large pay rises in next twelve months.

PG: And property?
SL: People will not get the sort of asking prices that they were expecting. But I don't see a big slump.

PG: What about investments generally?
SL: It is a good time to go in for market-linked investment. Some indexed-linked investments which guarantee a particular return represent very good value at the moment. The market is quite low and will remain so for a while. For that same reason, it is definitely not the right time to cash in any maturing savings. If you can roll the savings over for another period, do so. The market will get better.

PG: So it’s not all doom and gloom?
SL: No. I broadly agree with my astrological colleagues here. It’s not the end of the world - and nor, even in the financial sector, is it the end of the world!